Augmented Reality

Apple visionOS Development

Johnny Reid
Feb 8, 2024

Unlock the power of Apple visionOS...

Apple visionOS Development Guide

Apple visionOS Developers

VisionOS Highlights

Apple's Vision Pro introduces us to the realm of 'spatial computing' with its new operating system, visionOS. This system, a product of decades of engineering innovation found in macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, is designed to transform both professional and personal spaces. visionOS offers a unique three-dimensional user interface, controlled entirely through eye movements, hand gestures, and voice commands. This intuitive system allows users to interact with apps effortlessly – a look, tap, or flick of the wrist is all it takes to navigate or execute commands. Siri integration takes this ease of use further, allowing for quick app navigation and media playback.

Envision a shared space within visionOS where apps float around you, not just side by side on a desktop, but in midair. This shared space supports both traditional 2D views and vibrant 3D content, creating a dynamic work environment. Apps in this space can exist as planes in the room, supporting 3D content within a window alongside 2D elements. In this visionary operating system, windows transform into three-dimensional volumes containing objects and scenes, offering an interaction that's akin to moving around in the physical world.

Moreover, visionOS introduces 'Environments', a captivating feature that immerses users in dynamically rendered landscapes, from national parks to the lunar surface. Controlled via the Digital Crown, 'Environments' allow users to adjust their immersion level, offering a mixed reality experience that transcends the physical limits of a room. The Vision Pro, with its three-dimensional interface, frees apps from the constraints of a display, creating an expansive workspace for multitasking and collaboration.

In essence, the Apple Vision Pro, powered by visionOS, stands as a beacon in the AR/VR landscape. It blurs the lines between the digital and physical worlds, offering an immersive experience that heralds a new era in personal computing. As Apple continues to innovate, the Vision Pro represents a significant milestone, not just for the company but for the entire trajectory of mixed reality technology.


Apple Spatial Computing Videos

Prepare for visionOS

Learn about visionOS

Learn about working with Apple



RealityKit USD Assets




Reality Composer Pro



Experience the limitless possibilities of Apple Vision Pro's spatial computing on visionOS. With this groundbreaking platform, you can create a dynamic and immersive 3D environment where users can interact with your app while staying connected to their surroundings or fully immerse themselves in your virtual world.

Start by building the foundation of your spatial computing experience with visionOS. Utilize SwiftUI to create one or multiple windows within your app, offering traditional views and controls. Take it to the next level by incorporating 3D content, adding depth and interactivity to your app.

Expand your app's capabilities by introducing 3D volumes, which showcase captivating content using RealityKit or Unity. These volumes allow users to view and engage with the 3D experience from any angle within the Shared Space or your app's Full Space.

In the Shared Space, apps coexist side-by-side, much like multiple apps on a Mac desktop. Users have the flexibility to reposition windows and volumes, tailoring their experience to their liking. For a more immersive journey, your app can open a dedicated Full Space, where only your app's content is displayed. In this Full Space, you can leverage windows and volumes to create boundless 3D content, open portals to alternate worlds, or fully immerse users in captivating environments.

Unleash your creativity and redefine user experiences with Apple Vision Pro and visionOS. Embrace the power of spatial computing to build engaging, fluid, and transformative 3D experiences that will captivate and amaze your audience.

Apple Spatial Computing Frameworks

When it comes to developing apps for visionOS, SwiftUI is the optimal choice whether you're creating windows, volumes, or immersive experiences. SwiftUI offers an array of 3D capabilities, depth support, gesture recognition, visual effects, and immersive scene types, enabling you to craft stunning and captivating apps for Vision Pro. Additionally, SwiftUI seamlessly integrates with RealityKit, Apple's powerful 3D rendering engine, for creating sharp, responsive, and volumetric interfaces. With RealityKit, you can leverage advanced features like adjusting to physical lighting conditions, casting shadows, building visual effects, and utilizing MaterialX for authoring materials.

For enhanced spatial understanding, ARKit empowers Vision Pro apps to interact seamlessly with the surrounding environment. ARKit's robust APIs, including Plane Estimation, Scene Reconstruction, Image Anchoring, World Tracking, and Skeletal Hand Tracking, offer a wealth of possibilities to blend real-world interactions with your content. Create immersive experiences like splashing water on a wall or bouncing a ball off the floor, captivating and astonishing users.

VisionOS prioritizes accessibility, catering to users who rely on eye or voice interactions. Pointer Control provides an alternative navigation method using the index finger, wrist, or head as a pointer. By leveraging familiar techniques and tools, you can develop inclusive and accessible apps for visionOS, ensuring a great user experience for all on the Vision Pro platform.

visionOS Development Tools

Begin your development journey for visionOS with Xcode, equipped with the visionOS SDK. Seamlessly integrate visionOS into your existing project by adding a visionOS target or embark on building a brand-new app. Experience app iteration through Xcode Previews, providing a platform to interact with and refine your app. Explore the possibilities of visionOS Simulator, offering diverse room layouts and lighting conditions for comprehensive testing.

Delve into the world of collisions, occlusions, and scene understanding with tests and visualizations tailored to your spatial content. Embrace the power of Reality Composer Pro, a cutting-edge tool designed to streamline the previewing and preparation of 3D assets for visionOS apps. This feature-rich tool, bundled with Xcode, facilitates the import and organization of assets such as 3D models, materials, and sounds. Benefit from its tight integration with the Xcode build process, ensuring efficient previewing and optimization of your visionOS assets.

Leverage the robust and familiar authoring tools of Unity to create innovative apps and games or reimagine your existing Unity projects for visionOS. Unity seamlessly integrates with visionOS, granting access to its wide array of features, including passthrough and Dynamically Foveated Rendering. By combining the authoring and simulation capabilities of Unity with RealityKit-managed app rendering, your Unity-created content seamlessly blends into the visionOS ecosystem, delivering an immersive and cohesive user experience.

Later this month, anticipate the arrival of the comprehensive visionOS SDK package, which includes Xcode, the visionOS Simulator, Reality Composer Pro, extensive documentation, sample code, design guidance, and an array of additional resources.

Polyspatial Unity Beta

Unity's "Apple Vision Pro" game development tool Polyspatial is now an open beta. Unity, a leading game development platform, aims to provide developers with cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) capabilities exclusively for Apple devices. With the Apple Vision Pro tool, developers can leverage ARKit 5 and LiDAR Scanner functionalities to create highly immersive AR experiences on iOS devices. The beta release allows developers to experiment with spatial computing, object occlusion, and advanced environment understanding to craft interactive AR games with unprecedented realism and precision. Unity's initiative is expected to revolutionize AR game development for Apple users and offers a glimpse into the exciting possibilities that AR technology holds for the future of gaming.

Submit visionOS Apps To App Store

Whether you're launching a fresh visionOS app or adapting your existing iPad or iPhone app for the Apple Vision Pro ecosystem, here's a snapshot of what you need to know to make your app a hit on the App Store.

  • Craft Your App's Showcase: From creating an engaging product page to ensuring your app shines with top-notch screenshots and previews, it’s your chance to entice users.
  • Seamless App Compatibility: With most iPadOS and iOS apps effortlessly transitioning to Apple Vision Pro, your app can effortlessly join this new platform. Adjust your app’s availability anytime with the tools provided in App Store Connect.
  • Harness visionOS SDK: Leverage Xcode 15.2 and the visionOS SDK to craft new spatial computing experiences. This SDK empowers you to utilize visionOS's immersive capabilities to the fullest.
  • Quality Testing: Ensure your app delivers the expected seamless experience by testing on device or simulator. Apple offers the opportunity for your app to be evaluated directly on Apple Vision Pro.
  • Universal Purchase & Product Pages: Engage users across all their Apple devices with a single purchase. Craft your product page to highlight your app’s best features, ensuring it stands out in the crowded marketplace.

Click here for Apple's official documentation on submitting apps.